Photography by Zoey Grossman, courtesy of Atlantic Records

Review: Marina’s Love + Fear

The musician’s latest album is an honest account of the insecurities which have plagued her since the release of Froots.


Fol­low­ing three albums and a series of flam­boy­ant con­cepts and alter-egos, Mari­na took a hia­tus to fig­ure her­self out. The feel­ing of not know­ing what you want to do with your life is ter­ri­fy­ing,” the Welsh artist said in an Apple Music inter­view. I’d nev­er had that before because I had the lux­u­ry of being very focused for 10 years.” Hav­ing dropped and the Dia­monds’ from her stage name, Mari­na ful­ly recharged for Love + Fear – an hon­est recount of the inse­cu­ri­ties she has bat­tled with since the release of Froot in 2015.

Divid­ing the album into two parts, Mari­na explores psy­chol­o­gist Elis­a­beth Kubler-Ross’s the­o­ry that humans pos­sess two pri­ma­ry emo­tions: love and fear. She’s pre­vi­ous­ly adopt­ed var­i­ous per­sonas (the house­wife, the idle teen, the home­wreck­er from Elec­tra Heart) where­as this album’s con­cept is sim­ple and, per­haps, a lit­tle obvi­ous. On Life Is Strange, she embraces anx­i­ety as a uni­ver­sal expe­ri­ence, epit­o­mis­ing the earnest tone of the album that’s replaced her sense of lyri­cal eccen­tric­i­ty (“Ten sil­ver spoons com­ing after me,” she sang on her bril­liant­ly weird 2009 sin­gle Mowgli’s Road). Through­out her career Mari­na has been a bold pop exper­i­men­tal­ist – a vocal gym­nast who’s dab­bled in elec­tro-pop and dis­co – yet the epic piano bal­ladry of Love + Fear makes it her most con­ven­tion­al sound­ing album to date.

But while Love + Fear isn’t a clas­sic campy Mari­na offer­ing, it’s full of warm feel­ings and it’s a tru­ly emo­tive account of her trou­bles. Final­ly I feel the fear is gone,” she sings on con­clu­sive track Soft To Be Strong. Mari­na has always danced to her own tune and long term fans will be pleased that she’s speak­ing her truth. 

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